|On target: Anjembe Timothy (right) was in the spotlight after grabbing a hat-trick in the first half, which helped hosts Hoang Anh Gia Lai defeat title favourites Song Lam Nghe An 3-1. — Photo dantri.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Thanh Hoa yesterday came from behind to beat Becamex Binh Duong 2-1 to maintain the top position in the V-League.
Playing on home ground, Thanh Hoa suffered strong attacks from Binh Duong from the first second of play.
The visiting side scored first, just nine minutes after the whistle. National team member Nguyen Trong Hoang kicked off a counter-attack with a perfect pass to Abass Dieng Cheikh, who broke Thanh Hoa's confusing defenders to pass the ball to Nguyen Anh Duc in the box. Duc completed his scoring with an accurate tap-in.
With strong support from home fans who filled all seats at the stadium in the cool weather, Thanh Hoa gradually fought back.
At the 17th minute, Slovenian World Cup participant Nastja Ceh levelled for his side from a free kick. The ball that touched a Binh Duong's defender changed its direction and went into the net under the helpless eyes of goalkeeper Nguyen Quoc Thien Esele.
The strong push encouraged the hosts to speed up the attack with consecutive threats. They had their second goal just minutes after the break. Midfielder Mai Tien Thanh of Binh Duong let his hand touch the ball in the box and Ceh had his double with a perfect penalty shootout.
Binh Duong's new technical director Le Thuy Hai tried to change the situation, asking his players to increase their attacks.
Step by step they set up their domination again, but still failed to score.
With three wins and one draw after four rounds, Thanh Hoa, on 10 points, could ensure their leading place in at least two weeks, as they have three points more than the closest runners-up, Quang Ninh Coal.
Quang Ninh had a big jump in the ranking table after their outstanding 3-0 victory over Dong Tam Long An yesterday.
Nguyen Xuan Ngoc scored twice and Iheruome Uche placed the third goal for the team, with all scoring seen in the second half.
The win helped Quang Ninh leap from the fifth to second position, while Dong Tam Long An dropped one step down to 11th.
In the match in Pleiku City, hosts Hoang Anh Gia Lai defeated title favourite Song Lam Nghe An 3-1.
Anjembe Timothy was in the spotlight after grabbing a hat-trick in the first half. Nghe An had their only goal at the 53rd minute when Emile had a straight shoot into the net.
In his day, Timothy could score more than three if goalie Tran Nguyen Manh was not careful. — VNS